The Cost of Installing Fence Panels

Last updated 26th May 2020

Want to know how much it costs to install or replace a fence? In this article you'll find a range of average fencing prices for different materials, sizes and styles. This makes it easy for any homeowner to calculate how much it will cost them to put up fencing.

Fence Panels

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How Much Does Fencing Cost?

This article examines a typical landscape gardening project - erecting fence panels. We have researched the typical costs charged by fencing companies and landscape gardeners big and small throughout the UK.

Typically, this job would include 6ft high fence panels, concrete posts & gravel boards. You can choose from many different fence panel types and designs, the most popular include lap fence boards which start from £15 each, trellis panels £16, feather edge fence panels and slatted fence panels £32, concave £40, convex £45, and weaved £58. These figures are just rough guides and the actual prices will vary greatly with the quality of the panels and the type of wood used.

Fence Panel Prices

The average cost to hire a tradesperson to supply and install fencing is typically around £700 to £1000 for 8 fence panels, with the typical size being 2 metres long in the UK. This price will vary depending on the type of fencing you choose. The most popular fence material is wood, which is used in the majority of gardens across the UK. Other types include wire fencing, which is an ideal choice if you are sticking to a budget, as prices range from just £1 to £5 per linear foot. On the more expensive end, there are vinyl fence panels, which are valued at around £20 to £40 per foot. There are plenty of other fence types to choose from including security fences, as well as materials such as composite, iron, aluminium, steel and even hedge fencing.

Below are some estimated costs of hiring a tradesperson to install timber fence boards in an average UK garden, which is around 15 metres long. This would require an estimate of 8 fence panels measuring 1.8 metres in length and height.

Wooden Fence Costs

PANEL TYPE AVG. COST
Lap fence panels £500
Feather edge fence panels £600
Slatted fence panels £600
Trellis panels £800
Decorative panels £800
Venetian panels £900
Tongue and groove panels £1,000


Alternative Fence Costs

For those who want to explore other fencing options, take a look at the following materials and their prices:

FENCE MATERIAL AVG. COST (per foot)
Split rail £1 to £4
Wire £1 to £7
Electric £3 to £7
Picket £7 to £10
Vinyl £15 to £30
Corrugated metal £20 to £28
Aluminium £20 to £30
Plastic £20 to £30
Wrought Iron £25 to £40
Steel £25 to £40


If you have any broken fences that may need repairing, you could consider a garden fence refitting. The price will depend on how many fences need replacing as well as the materials required. For a full refitting, you should expect to pay out at least £300.

Cost Breakdown Calculator

Individual costs of hiring a tradesperson to supply and fit 8 feather edge fence panels, including additional materials, labour and waste removal - Total Cost: £1000

70%

Materials
£700

25%

Tradespeople
£250

5%

Waste Removal
£50

Labour Costs and Time Frames

In addition to the materials, a labour charge will be added onto your bill. While rates will vary with different companies, the average cost for labour for a back garden fence installation is between £5 to £15 per linear foot. The majority of fence installers charge by parameters, as the more material used the longer it will take them to complete the job.

A tradesperson may also counter in your location in their price, as well as the time spent on the job. Some fence installers will often charge around £150 a day with the overall time to complete the job being around 1-2 days depending on how much you want fitting. Tradespeople may decide to work in pairs if a large number of fence panels are to be fitted, as this will allow them to complete the job quickly. Avoid any contractors that try to drag out the process, as you should not have to wait weeks to have your fences erected.

Additional Expenses

While the basic materials make up the majority of the price, there are also added extras that you must consider. Fence installers may add on the following costs depending on your preferences:

Fence Post Costs

Fence posts are an essential part of the installation process with concrete and wood being the most popular choices. To help you decide which fence material is right for you, take a look at how much a fence posts costs to install or replace for both concrete and wood.

FENCE POST MATERIAL PRICE (per post)
Wood £4 to £10
Concrete £20 to £40


Wood posts are the cheaper option, as they are lightweight, which will reduce labour and time frames as wood posts are easier to install, unlike concrete which is heavier and takes longer to fit.

Wood offers a level of sustainability, especially if you use pre-treated wood. However, concrete is the more durable of the two, because unlike wood, concrete is not biodegradable, therefore it is much less prone to rot or insect attacks. This offers complete protection against the natural elements, as concrete is strong enough to withstand adverse weather conditions.

wooden fence posts

When deciding on fence posts you also need to consider the different types, including regular, end and corner posts. Below you can find a breakdown of the cost per post.

TYPE OF FENCE POST PRICE (per post)
Regular posts £10 to £13
End posts £16 to £20
Corner posts £20 to £25


If you’re sticking to a budget, you may want to consider the lowest cost options. For example, if you require 8 fence panels for your back garden, then you would need 9 regular fence posts, which would come to a total of £90.

Fence Post Caps

To enhance the aesthetic of your garden fence, you can choose a fence post cap, such as an acorn or a ball and collar, which can add something special to your back garden. These are also great for security purposes, as they are adorned on top of fence posts, making it difficult for intruders to climb over. These can cost anywhere around £0.70 plus depending on the design you are after.

Gravel Boards

A gravel board is a panel made up of wood or concrete which is placed at the bottom of your fence panels to offer a better aesthetic. It also acts as a protector against any rut or infestation. Wood gravel boards are the cheaper option starting from £5 which offer a natural look on wooden fence panels. While concrete is more expensive with the average price ranging from £13 to £20. This is because concrete is less likely to rot, meaning your fences will last a lot longer than they would with wood gravel boards.

Waste Removal

If you need your old fences tearing down, the majority of tradespeople charge for fence and waste removal. This amounts to an average of £400, although again this will be dependent on the amount being removed. You can opt for DIY removal, however, it is a demanding task and will take up a significant amount of time, so you are best sticking with a professional who can do it in half the time.

The Different Types of Fence Panels

Timber Fences

The below table lists different types of wood fencing, which vary in their average price (per foot) depending on the material you choose, as some offer more benefits than others.

MATERIAL COST ADVANTAGE DISADVANTAGES APPLICATION
Pine wood £3 - Low-cost
- Sustainable
- Weak material
- Prone to decay
- Slatted fence panels
- Feather edge panels
Cedar wood £4 - Resists moisture
- Versatile
- Expensive
- Regular maintenance
- Decking fence boards
- Slatted fencing
Spruce £4 - Affordable
- Does not crack
- Prone to swelling
- Vulnerable to rot
- Picket fence
- Lap fence boards
Cypress wood £7 - Water-resistant
- Rot-resistant
- Expensive
- High-maintenance
- Close board fence panels
- Tongue & groove boards


wooden fence

Additional Fencing Materials

Various other materials are used for fencing which offers privacy, security and protection. These include wire, vinyl, composite, iron, electric, and steel. The table below sets out the average costs per foot of these materials, the pros and cons, as well as popular fencing applications.

MATERIAL COST ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES APPLICATION
Welded mesh £1 - Lightweight material
- Allows airflow sunlight
- Easily corroded
- Expensive to maintain
- Farm fences
Woven wire £1 - Long-lasting
- Easy to move
- Easily broken
- Not permanent
- Security fencing
Barbed wire £2 - Affordable
- Secure fence
- Could cause injury
- Unattractive fencing
- Intruder deterrent
Chain link £7 - Plant protection
- Safe for animals
- Little security
- Lack of privacy
- Planting fence
Electric £7 - Animal containment
- Offers reassurance
- Can be dangerous
- Regular maintenance
- Security protection
Composite £25 - Rot-resistant
- Eco-friendly
- Subject to brittleness
- Expensive
- Domestic gardens
Vinyl £30 - Low-maintenance
- Robust material
- High upfront fee
- Synthetic aesthetic
- Wood fencing replacement
Iron £40 - Versatile application
- Durable
- Susceptible to rusting
- High-maintenance
- Front gates
Steel £50 - High level of security
- Long-lasting
- Expensive
- Inflexible design
- Steel palisades


metal fence

How to Install Fencing

The installation of fencing varies for different types of materials, although the fitting process is basically the same for most fence boards. To help you understand what the job entails, here is a general breakdown of how a tradesperson will install your fence panels.

Treating the Area

Before installing fence panels, it is important that the installer treats the area with weed killer and removes any vegetation before the installation process can begin. If you have chosen wooden fence boards, they should also be treated to avoid any rot or insect infestations.

Preparing the Space

Once the area and the panels are prepared, the tradesperson will then start to mark out the space where the fences will be placed, making sure there are no visible cables or pipes in the way. If you’re having your fences replaced then they will just place the fences in the original spot if you’re happy for them to do so.

Digging the Holes

Pilot holes will then be made in the ground to make room for metal spikes which will be hammered in and levelled out to support the fence posts. The holes made should be 2ft wide and three times the size of your posts, so there is enough room to hammer them in. The posts will then be inserted one by one and fixed with a layer of concrete or sand to avoid any movement. This should be left for at least an hour before the panels can be installed.

Added Extras

Before installing wood panels, the tradesperson may advise you to invest in treated gravel boards, as these will prevent the wood from touching the floor and rotting. Wire, iron and plastic fence panels will not need this treatment, as they are less susceptible to infestation. Once this is complete, the securing process can begin by placing the panels or wire and securing them with post clips and stainless screws to avoid rust.

Levelling Out

After the initial installation is complete, the tradesperson will then check if everything is level, and if not, they will cut the post tops to ensure that they are all even before securing a post cap in place. Any extras such as post toppers or slates will then be added as well as any paint touch-ups that may be required.

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Can I Install my Own Fencing?

Putting up fence panels is a pretty straightforward job that is well within the scope of a competent DIY enthusiast. However, it does require at least two people, as it is physically demanding with digging and plenty of sledgehammer work.

Before installing your own fencing, take a look at the following DIY tips:

Check for Permissions

Before you begin erecting a fence, it is important to be sure of your property boundaries by checking the property deeds or consulting an expert. If you get this wrong your neighbour could force you to remove the fence. You can build a fence up to 2m without seeking planning permission but always check with the local planning office if you are unsure.

Watch out for Wiring

Before you get that sledgehammer out - remember to check for any underground cables or pipes with a detector! Always use pressure-treated wood for your garden fence, as it comes already treated with wood preservative to prevent rot which saves you time when building a fence.

Cut out Labour Costs

Installing your own garden fence will, of course, cut down your costs, as you will not have to pay out any labour fees So based on the average size garden of 50 foot long, you could save an average of £500, with labour rates of an estimated £10 per linear foot.

Professional Help

If you do not feel confident or knowledgeable enough about the installation process, you should seek out professional help, as a durable and sustainable fence is much more cost-effective and long-lasting.

How Much Fencing Do I Need?

The number of fence panels you require will depend on the size of the space where you want them installed.

The most common installation is 6ft-high wood fencing, which includes fence panels, fence posts and gravel boards. Take a look at the following table which will breakdown what you need based on the average size of your garden and how much it will cost.

SIZE PANELS GRAVEL BOARDS POSTS COST
Small (10 metres) 6 6 7 £450
Medium (15 metres) 8 8 9 £600
Large (25 metres) 14 14 15 £1000


Maintenance and Painting

Once the tradesperson completes the installation, it is up to you to keep on top of your fencing to make sure it lasts. If you choose plastic fence panels like vinyl or PVC then you will not be required to perform much maintenance, other than wiping them every so often. Materials like wood may need a bit more attention by cleaning it with a fence cleaner, which only costs around £6. In the case of fungus, you should consider replacing any diseased wood to avoid spreading.

paint fence

You may also need to repaint your wooden fence panels every couple of years to give them a freshen up, so it may be worth purchasing paint and primer, which will total an average of £30. If you have a wrought-iron fence you will need to paint it every two to three years. You can do this yourself or get a quote from a professional painter who will make sure the job is done properly.

How to Lower Fencing Costs

If you have a budget, you should consider different ways of cutting down your expenditure. To start, you need to think about why you are investing in fencing in the first place. Is it to protect your home or offer you more privacy? Or is it simply for aesthetic reasons? This will help you determine what you need rather than what you want.

You should also think about the materials you want to use, and possibly swapping them out for cheaper alternatives. For example, if you’re considering steel fencing, you could instead look at aluminium fencing which would cost around £60 per panel, in comparison to steel panels which are priced at an average of £250.

Another way of reducing down the price is by sharing fencing expenses with your neighbours, especially if you live in a terraced or semi-detached house where your back garden fences are joined. By splitting the cost, you could get opt for an expensive material for half the price that will last a long time.

Will new Fencing Raise my House Value?

Having a fence built in the front or back of your home may improve kerb appeal, as it will not only help to improve the aesthetics but will also make your property is secure and private. If you are planning to sell your home, having an attractive-looking fence in your garden could boost your property’s value. This is why it is important to employ a professional to do the job, as this could help improve your chances of selling your house for a significant price.

Planning Permission for Fences

In most cases, you will not have to apply for planning permission to erect fencing. However, there are some exceptions, including:

  • A fence over two metres or one metre high if you live near a highway.
  • Your right to install a fence has been removed.
  • The house is a listed building or your house is adjoined to one.

You should also be able to take down fencing willingly without having to apply for permission, unless you live in a conservation area.

If you have to apply for planning permission, then you may incur a service charge of £20.83 plus VAT. For listed building consent, you will not have to pay, however, for householder planning permission you could be charged up to £206 for submitting an application.

If you proceed with building a fence without the required planning permission, then you will have committed a planning breach. This can be a costly process, with fines of £20,000 or more being paid out by homeowners. To avoid expensive penalties, you should check with your local council before buying or erecting any fencing.

Gate Installation Costs

If you are updating your fences, you will need at least one gate to act as an entrance or exit. The price of a gate will depend on the material you choose and where you want it to go. You can choose from a selection of different gate types or have a professional construct a custom-made gate for you.

electric gate

For the front of your property, you may want to choose something aesthetically pleasing like a decorative wrought iron gate, which will boost your kerb appeal. If you’re more interested in safety and privacy, you could invest in an electric gate for that extra level of home security.

To help you decide on the right gate for your home exterior, take a look at the estimated costs of having a gate installed.

GATE TYPE AVG. COST
Wooden garden gate £180 - £400
Wrought iron gate £1,500 – £4,000
Electric gate £7,000 - £10,000


Garden Wall Building Cost

If you want to stick with a more traditional garden design, you may want to opt for a garden wall instead of more contemporary fencing. There are a variety of different options to consider such as the materials, the size of the wall, and more.

The most common garden wall is a retaining wall, which can be used for aesthetic purposes as well as a solution to sloping. Retaining walls can be built in a variety of materials to enhance your exterior landscape.

Here is a breakdown of the costs associated with different garden wall materials.

MATERIAL AVG. COST
Brick wall £920 to £1,850
Concrete wall £2,100 to £7,600
Stone wall £1,700 to £5,800


All of the above materials are commonly used in both front and back gardens, with stone being the most expensive of them all. Despite it being costly, it is also one of the most popular options.

garden stone wall

Here are the varying costs of stone wall material which are priced per square metre.

STONE MATERIAL PRICE (per square metre)
Flint £120
Sandstone £125
Limestone £150
Slate £200


If you want to build a stone wall in your garden but cannot afford the expense, then you could consider combining other materials with stone to create an equally impressive landscape. Good examples of this include cedar cladding which can be fused with slate to give a stone wall effect for just £20 to £50 per square metre.

Costs of Removing Fencing

Before you make any final decisions on buying a new fence, the first thing you need to do is get rid of your old fence. You can remove it yourself, however, it is quite a big job, especially if you have a large amount of fencing to remove, so it will take up quite a bit of time.

If you decide to take the DIY route, then you would still need to consider costs. You could take it to your local tip for free, however, they may not accept fences that have been treated or painted, so you should check beforehand.

Another option would be to check if your council offer a bulk pick-up service, most areas do offer this with starting prices from £30 to have it taken away. You could also hire a skip; however, this can cost around £200 in the UK, which may not align with your budget.

The most common option is to hire a professional to remove your fences and take them away, which will save you a lot of time and energy. This will usually cost around £400 dependent on the type of material, as well as how much fencing you have. Whether it is more or less, it is definitely worth paying for, as it means the quicker your old fences are removed the faster your brand new fences can be fitted.

FAQ's

The main advantage of wooden posts is that they are cheap to buy, starting at around £4 per post. They are also more aesthetically pleasing, especially in the garden where they look more natural. They are also much easier to install, as wooden fence boards can be fixed directly to the posts. However, wooden posts are also more susceptible to rot and require frequent treatment/maintenance (though you can use concrete in post supports to keep the wooden post above ground to help prevent rotting).

Concrete posts, in comparison, are very secure even in strong winds, they will not rot and will last for decades. Out of the two, concrete posts are much more cost-effective, although they have a higher upfront fee of an estimated £20 per post, they are more sustainable in the long-run. The downside of concrete is that not everyone likes the look of concrete and the fence panels themselves are not directly fixed to posts so they may rattle a bit in the wind.
If you have an existing fence that needs replacing, you must first dismantle the old fence. There is no special technique involved here, just good old-fashioned hard work with a pry bar and a lump hammer! Start by breaking the old fence panels up into manageable pieces. Then, if the old fence posts are still standing, dig out the first and last posts of the run, then cut all the other posts as low to the ground as possible.

You don't normally have to dig out all of the old concrete post supports as you can stagger the new posts between them. However, if there have been many fences over the years, you may find a lot of concrete under the ground making it difficult to insert the new posts.

If this is the case, be prepared for a lot of hard work! If this all sounds like too much, taking the DIY route may not be for you, so instead you can ask the professional fitting your new fence to remove your old ones. This would add on around £50 to the fence installation service, although this would be more if you have more than 8 panels to remove.
Fence panels need to be treated with a wood preservative after installation, then painted/stained/treated annually throughout the lifetime of the fence. If you purchase it yourself, you should expect to pay £8 to £15 depending on the product. This helps to protect the fence boards (and posts) from timber rot and water damage. Some panels will come pre-treated, but if yours have not, then you will need to treat the panels immediately after the installation and keep treating them annually.

Pressure-treated timber is placed into a large vacuum then high quantities of timber preservatives are forced deep into the wood grain. This process helps to protect the timber against wood rot. Pressure-treated timber fencing does not have to be painted or treated so it is worth paying a bit extra when buying timber.

The price difference between non-treated and pressure-treated timber is around £5 per panel, so at such a low-cost it is definitely worthwhile. Do not get confused with dip treated fencing, this just protects the timber while in storage or during transit. Dip treated timber still needs to be treated with a timber treatment paint after installation.
A new garden fencing does not need planning permission as long as it is under 2 metres high. However, if you live in a conservation area or the garden is next to a busy road, then other rules can apply. This could include a fee put in place in 2018, which requires you to pay around £20 plus VAT to apply for planning permission, so make sure you check before you go ahead with the application.

If you are unsure about whether you need planning permission, It costs nothing to quickly check with your local planning department so always contact them if you are unsure. You do have to be careful about the property boundary, however, as this is a source of many neighbourly disputes.

Sources

https://www.planningportal.co.uk/
https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/getting-stone-right/
https://www.gardendesignexperts.com/size-guide/
https://www.thespruce.com/what-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-pvc-vinyl-fence-2130909
https://www.atozqualityfencing.com/faq/
https://www.hunker.com/13424812/what-are-the-cheapest-fencing-materials

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